Neighbourhood priorities

Neighbourhood Priorities

October 2017: Beggars in the city centre

What you told us
The number of beggars around the city centre is causing concern to both businesses and members of the public. This issue occurs throughout the day and also extends into the night time.

You want to see the Police taking positive action in relation to the beggars and ensure that the city centre remains an attractive place to live and visit.

What we are doing about it
Northumbria Police is working very closely with its partners to ensure this issue is tackled in the most appropriate way.

It is vital we assist the vulnerable members of society and ensure they are offered sufficient support, including liaising with the relevant support services to try and re-house people and provide assistance with any substance abuse issues etc.

Only those who have refused to engage and persistently beg are dealt with robustly utilising the appropriate powers available to the police.

We have also introduced "Operation Shrapnel " which is a dedicated Operation to driving positive action in relation to persistent beggars and vagrant ASB.


Keeping you informed
Joint operations have been carried out with officers from the British Transport Police and the DWP. Officers from the DWP speak to all of the people who are stopped. Those in receipt of benefits are investigated and those who do not claim are given advice on how to apply for benefits to prevent the need for begging in the first instance.

We have secured injunctions in relation to three persistent beggars who have been found repeatedly begging and who refuse the assistance and support of other agencies. Amongst other things, these injunctions have excluded them from large parts of the City Centre and have enabled the police to impose positive conditions in an effort to stop them from begging.

A number of persons found begging in the city have also been dealt with for the offence of begging and through the issue of dispersal notices and arrests for subsequent breaches.

However, as well as maximising the use of the legislation at our disposal, we also employ varying tactics depending on the circumstances of those involved, for example, working with other Government agencies to try and make the benefits of begging less attractive.

Many people who are found begging need help and support and organisations in Newcastle, such as Changing Lives, can help provide that support. Our neighbourhood team is in regular contact with Changing Lives and other key partners in this area and we work together to help the vulnerable.
By ensuring that those found begging are directed to the correct support it is hoped that we can reduce the amount of begging taking place on the city's streets. We are keen to take positive action where ever possible and welcome feedback from members of the public regarding this matter.

October 2017: Alcohol-related crime and disorder

What you told us   

Night time disorder linked to pubs and clubs is an issue in the city, particularly at weekends and street drinking. 

What we are doing about it 

Resourcing across Newcastle is tailored to assist in managing alcohol related disorder in the city centre at peak times. 
A senior officer oversees the Night Time Economy (NTE) period and deploys the available resources to address demand in the busiest areas of the city. This is in order to provide a reassuring police presence and to deter crime and disorder, by intervening early in any potential disorder situations. This is a priority for officers to prevent disorder before it actually happens. 
Resourcing the NTE is also intelligence led, so that extra resources are available where it is anticipated that events, or other factors, may increase demand. For instance, we continue to work closely with licensees, door supervisors and hotels to ensure our resources are deployed in the right areas at the right time. The relationships we have developed provide valuable intelligence which allows us to prevent and detect crime and disorder. 
Newcastle city council were the first in the country to impose a night time levy on licensed establishments open after midnight and this has led to an increase in the resources available to police.

Keeping you informed 

We have a number of meetings advertised on the internet where updates will be provided, e.g. at the RVI, residents’ associations, pub watch and neighbourhood watch meetings etc. 

October 2017: Vulnerable people

What you told us 

Vulnerability caused by drink or drugs or other factors is an issue particularly during the Night Time Economy (NTE).

What we are doing about it 

Vulnerability Training is continuing throughout the Spring with door supervisors, hoteliers and licensees in Newcastle to make sure they understand what factors can make people vulnerable during a night out and the potential consequences of failure to take positive action in relation to vulnerable people, to ensure as many have received the training as possible. 
So far over 350 people who work during Night Time Economy hours have been trained.

We have included in the training how to deal with vulnerable people and what to watch out for in terms of people who may seek to prey on the vulnerable. 

We have also given police officers this training and encourage our officers to engage with people to ensure they have a safe night out and have plans for getting home. 
We have worked with our partners at Newcastle Council, the North East Ambulance Service and St John’s Ambulance to provide a Safe Haven facility on the busiest nights of the week right in the heart of the vibrant NTE zone. 
Police work in conjucntion with the Street Pastors and other voluntary organisations to ensure that we can intervene early to protect anyone from coming to harm who may be vulnerable as a result of alcohol. In doing all of the above, we aim to ensure that visitors can be assured of a safe and enjoyable experience when visiting the city.

Keeping you informed 

The Safe Haven is located in the Bigg Market and is present every Friday and Saturday night. We are using funding from the Night Time Levy to support police operations and activity targeted at reducing vulnerability and dealing with those who are vulnerable. 
The neighbourhood policing team will keep the community updated through Partners and Communities Together (PACT) meetings. We also provide updates at the various 'Watch' meetings and other forums advertised on the internet.